Roughriders take tight game over B.C. Lions

The Canadian Press
Gemma Karstens-Smith

VANCOUVER–The B.C. Lions know they’re facing an uphill slog in the second half of the season after dropping yet another close game.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-4) squeezed out a 24-21 win Saturday night, handing the Leos (3-6) their first home loss of the season.
Riders quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 215 yards, while B.C.’s Travis Lulay put up 231.
But offensive missteps continue to plague the Lions. Head coach Wally Buono said he was disappointed with the number of balls his team dropped.
“You’ve got to catch balls to continue drives, you’ve got to catch balls to create plays, you’ve got to got catch balls to score touchdowns. You can’t just kick field goals,” he said.
B.C. kicker Ty Long opened the scoring with a 20-yard field goal less than three minutes in.
It was the first of five he made throughout the game, including a 48-yard kick in the final minute of the first half.
Buono noted that if one of those field goals had been a touchdown, the Lions could have walked away with a much-needed win.
“It is what it is. We’ve created this situation the way that it is. We had high hopes for our offence, but at the end of it, it’s not scored enough points, it’s not taken advantage of enough opportunities and it’s created too many miscues,” he said.
The coach hinted that some roster adjustments may be in the works, saying he’ll sit down with Lions general manager Ed Hervey in the coming days to talk about players.
“When you can’t make plays, you must not have the right guys,” Buono said.
Riders coach Chris Jones said his team also has room to improve, despite Saturday’s win.
“Nothing was perfect, certainly. We gave up a couple of big plays defensively that resulted in points. We gave up a kick-off return that gave up points. And offensively we stubbed our toe there in the middle of the game,” he said.
The victory marks Saskatchewan’s second win in a row. Last week they handed Calgary its first loss of the season.
A pair of wins boost the team’s confidence, but there’s still work to be done heading into next week’s match up with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Jones said.
The Lions have a bye next week and won’t play again until Sept. 7 when they host the Redblacks.
In other CFL action on Saturday, the Stampeders trampled the Blue Bombers 39-26.